Last legislative session, a bill was passed that prohibits the application of liquid manure on frozen and snow-covered ground between December 21 and April 1 every winter. This was a good bill enacting a common sense ban on a practice that causes pollution of our waterways.
House File 2324 currently eligible for debate on the House floor, would gut this ban. It would exempt all factory farm operators from having to update their manure storage requirements to comply with the new law. This would allow virtually all factory farm operators in the state to spread manure whenever and wherever they want-under the guise of an "emergency." Emergency meaning not enough storage.
Members of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement call on House majority leader Kevin McCarthy and House speaker Pat Murphy to not bring this bill to the floor for a vote. We are calling on our House of Representatives to side with the people-not with polluters and corporate agriculture. Do the right thing and klll House File 2324.
Recently I attended a public forum sponsored by Senator Rich Olive and Representative McKinley Bailey (D-Webster City). At the meeting I confronted Rep. Bailey about why he voted for House File 2324 a bill gutting the ban on spreading factory farm manure on frozen and snow-covered ground. HF 2324 will exempt all factory farms operators from having to build enough manure storage to last through the winter months, so they can claim limited storage as an "emergency" reason to spread.
Rep. Bailey said there have been few requests for emergency spreading and these were made by small farmers he didn't want forced out of business. The current law against spreading liquid manure on frozen ground only applies to operations with greater than 500 animal units (that's about 350 dairy cows, 1,250 head of hogs or 50,000 chickens). Hardly the definition of a small farmer.
He went on to tell me that HF 2324 will pass this session because the legislative leadership (and I would add the Iowa Farm Bureau) wants it passed. Well, it will be interesting to see if this prediction comes true. If it does, so much for promises by elected officials to protect our water quality and it really will show how much agriculture cares about our rivers.
It's time we stand up and let these politicians know they need to protect our environment and listen to people and quit pandering to corporate greed in the name of economic development.
Jim Yungclas - Member of Iowa Citizen for Community Improvement
I felt it necessary to correct the implication portrayed by the NOH8 campaign highlighted on the front page of the February 11th issue of the Reinbeck Courier. The NOH8 campaign is protesting photographically their opposition to Proposition 8 which passed in California in November 2008. Proposition 8 was necessary because the California Supreme Court in May 2008 struck down Proposition 22 which passed in March 2000 specifying marriage was limited to be legal only between a man and a woman. This is similar to the Iowa Supreme Court's ruling, in April 2009, on Iowa's Defense of Marriage Act. Proposition 8 and Iowa's Defense of Marriage Act are not discriminatory. They are about protecting an institution created by God.
The implication the NOH8 campaign makes is that anyone supporting Proposition 8, and therefore, marriage limited to a man and a woman, is hateful. This is WRONG. The majority of people in favor of limiting marriage to a man and a woman do so out of LOVE. Our love of God, who created the institution of marriage thousands of years ago, is the impetus for our protection of this institution. In addition, it is our love of ALL people that drives us to pray for those that feel compelled to participate in sinful acts to be given the strength to resist those temptations. God Loves all people and wants all people to be with Him. When we sin, we put a barrier between ourselves and God. There is no hate of the people in the GLBT community, only a concern for their souls.
The tactic used in the NOH8 campaign is common: lie about the underlying reason for opposition to your cause. The perpetuation of this false hatred creates a victim identity for the GLBT community. The image of victimhood by the GLBT community has been created to obtain a special status to advance their agenda.
The time for political correctness has passed. All people should no longer be afraid to call homosexual acts sinful. The GLBT community has slowly lulled the American public into first tolerance, then acceptance and now embracing their lifestyle choice over the past three or more decades. This infiltrated the laws of Iowa through the language in the Anti-Bullying law passed in 2007 that makes the GLBT community a protected class in Iowa, the basis of which is a cornerstone in the Iowa Supreme Court's ruling last April.
Because it is only immoral and not illegal, I will tolerate their lifestyle, but I will not accept or embrace it. Again, this is not about hate, it is a stand for morality and a sacred institution. I pray that God changes the hearts, minds and actions of the GLBT community.